Key Takeaways

  • Every year, NISC's annual Programs of Excellence Awards honor and promote the outstanding programs offered by senior centers across the country.

  • Learn more about Rooted in Resilience, a 2021 Programs of Excellence Award Honorable Mention in the Technology category.

NISC Programs of Excellence 

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • Programs of Excellence Name: Rooted in Resilience
  • Hosting Organization: Overlea Fullerton Senior Center, Baltimore
  • Baltimore County Population: 849,316
  • Population 60+: 212,021
  • Senior Center Members: 1,000

About Rooted in Resilience

This year-long initiative addressed the challenges of social isolation as well as other hardships experienced during the pandemic via monthly, themed activities. Senior center staff and volunteers created monthly themes related to becoming more resilient as well as a monthly newsletter and challenge.

The newsletter included a checklist of activities and recommendations of things to try that focused on each theme. There were at least 10 virtual or hybrid programs that also related to the theme, and if people participated, they treceived a chance for winning a gift card. At the end of the month, a wrap-up meeting was held so participants could share their experiences that month and participate in the drawing for the three gift cards.

Key takeaways from Rooted in Resilience:

  • Attendance ranged from 75 in virtual attendance to smaller groups of five for some programs.
  • Over 125 seniors participated in the program, and many verbally expressed gratitude for the program and improvement in their own resilience during the challenge of isolation.
  • Monthly themes that resonated with participants: Accepting & Self-Compassion, Supporting through Self-Care, Coping, Growing, Expressing Your Feelings, Strengthening, Serving, Chilling Out, Learning, Building, Caring, and Celebrating.

About Overlea Fullerton Senior Center

The Overlea Fullerton Senior Center is part of the network of 21 Baltimore County senior centers. Offerings include fitness classes, programs and activities such as a choral group and computer class, parties and special events, an on-site SHIP counselor to help with health insurance enrollment and questions, and community service projects such as making hats for newborns and food baskets for the needy.